Chapter 13

Ksetra Ksetrajna Vibhaaga Yoga

The thirteenth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita is "Ksetra Ksetrajna Vibhaaga Yoga". The word "kshetra" means "the field", and the "kshetrajna" means "the knower of the field". We can think of our material body as the field and our immortal soul as the knower of the field. In this chapter, Krishna discriminates between the physical body and the immortal soul. He explains that the physical body is temporary and perishable whereas the soul is permanent and eternal. The physical body can be destroyed but the soul can never be destroyed. The chapter then describes God, who is the Supreme Soul. All the individual souls have originated from the Supreme Soul. One who clearly understands the difference between the body, the Soul and the Supreme Soul attains the realization of Brahman.

Verse 1
Arjuna said, "I wish to learn about Nature and the Spirit, the field and the knower of the field, knowledge and that which ought to be known, O Kesava."
Verse 2
The Blessed Lord said, "O Arjuna, this body is called the field; he who knows it is called the knower of the field by those who know them."
Verse 3
Do thou also know Me as the knower of the field in all fields, O Arjuna. Knowledge of both the field and the knower of the field is considered by Me to be the knowledge.
Verse 4
Hear from Me in brief what the field is, of what nature it is, what its modifications are, whence it is, who He is, and what His powers are.
Verse 5
Sages have sung in many ways, with various distinctive chants and also with suggestive words indicative of the Absolute, full of reasoning and decisive.
Verse 6
The great elements, egoism, intellect, and also the Unmanifested Nature, the ten senses, and one mind, and the five objects of the senses.
Verse 7
Desire, hatred, pleasure, pain, the aggregate (body), intelligence, and fortitude—the field has thus been briefly described with its modifications.
Verse 8
Humility, unpretentiousness, non-injury, forgiveness, uprightness, service to the teacher, purity, steadfastness, and self-control.
Verse 9
Indifference to the objects of the senses and also absence of egoism; perceiving the evil in birth, death, old age, sickness, and pain.
Verse 10
Non-attachment, non-identification of the Self with son, wife, home, and the rest, and constant even-mindedness in the face of the attainment of both desirable and undesirable.
Verse 11
Unswerving devotion to Me through the Yoga of non-separation, resorting to solitary places, and a distaste for the company of people.
Verse 12
Constancy in Self-knowledge, the perception of the end of true knowledge—this is declared to be knowledge, and what is opposed to it is ignorance.
Verse 13
I will declare that which is to be known, knowing which one attains immortality; the beginningless Supreme Brahman, which is neither being nor non-being.
Verse 14
With hands and feet everywhere, with eyes, heads, and mouths everywhere, with ears everywhere, He exists in the worlds, enveloping all.
Verse 15
Shining by the functions of all the senses, yet without being attached to them; unattached, yet supporting all; devoid of qualities, yet the experiencer of them.
Verse 16
It is within and without all beings, both the unmoving and the moving; It is subtle and unknowable, and It is near and far away.
Verse 17
Undivided yet, It exists as if divided in beings; It is to be known as the supporter of beings; It devours and It generates.
Verse 18
That Light of all lights is said to be beyond darkness: knowledge, the knowable, and the goal of knowledge, seated in the hearts of all.
Verse 19
Thus, the field, as well as knowledge and the knowable, have been briefly stated. My devotee, knowing this, enters into My being.
Verse 20
Know that Nature (matter) and the Spirit are both beginningless, and know also that all modifications and qualities are born from Nature.
Verse 21
In the production of the effect and the cause, Nature (matter) is said to be the cause; in the experience of pleasure and pain, the soul is said to be the one responsible.
Verse 22
The soul seated in Nature experiences the qualities born of Nature; attachment to the qualities is the cause of its birth in good and evil wombs.
Verse 23
The Supreme Soul in this body is also called the observer, the permitter, the sustainer, the enjoyer, the great Lord, and the Supreme Self.
Verse 24
He who thus knows the Spirit and Matter together with their qualities, in whatever condition he may be, he is not reborn.
Verse 25
Some behold the Self within themselves through meditation, others through the Yoga of knowledge, and still others through the Yoga of action.
Verse 26
Others, too, who do not know thus, worship, having heard of It from others; they, too, cross beyond death, regarding what they have heard as the supreme refuge.
Verse 27
Wherever a being is born, whether unmoving or moving, know thou, O best of the Bharatas (Arjuna), that it is from the union of the field and its knower.
Verse 28
He who sees the Supreme Lord existing truly in all beings, the imperishable within the perishable, sees indeed.
Verse 29
For he who truly sees the same Lord dwelling everywhere does not destroy the Self by the self; rather, he attains the highest goal.
Verse 30
He sees, who sees that all actions are performed solely by Nature and that the Self is without action.
Verse 31
When a person sees all beings as resting in the One and emanating from the One alone, they then become Brahman.
Verse 32
Being without beginning, devoid of any qualities, the Supreme Self, imperishable, though dwelling in the body, O Arjuna, neither acts nor is tainted.
Verse 33
As the all-pervading ether is not tainted, due to its subtlety, so the Self seated everywhere in the body is not tainted either.
Verse 34
Just as the one sun illuminates the entire world, so too does the Lord of the field (Supreme Self) illuminate the entire field, O Arjuna.
Verse 35
They who, by the eye of knowledge, perceive the distinction between the field and its knower, as well as the liberation from the Nature of being, go to the Supreme.